Impact of AI Logos on Branding

Impact of AI Logos on Branding: Benefits and Challenges

Logos speak the story of the brand and help people remember them. From separating your brand identity from your competitors to helping people recognize brands or products, logos have been playing a crucial role in establishing a hold in target markets on behalf of brands. 

A Zippia report says, approximately 75% of people recognize a brand using its logo which tells how logo designing took a massive amount of time and effort so designers could come up with something that targeted user groups would accept and appreciate.

In the chase of perfect logos, there have been several upgrades in logo design trends. AI logos are the latest addition to these trends and are rapidly rising in popularity due to several advantages. 

AI logos are cheaper, faster to design, easily accessible, and can easily be modified without having to worry about copyright issues. These advantages are attracting businesses and changing how graphic designers were an essential component of the logo designing strategy until now.

What are AI logos?

Artificial intelligence (AI) logos are rendered using the advantages of AI technology within seconds. There are several tools such as Midjourney, Canva AI, Dall.E, PicsArt, and now even Adobe Photoshop that can generate graphics instantly using AI. These logos are based on several artworks from a diverse range of artists. 

The database of AI is fed with these artworks after which its neural networks look for patterns and possible combinations. Using these capabilities, AI generates results faster than, maybe, a human graphic designer who would spend days rendering.

How do AI logo generators work?

Now, the process that I defined above is not as simple as it sounds. There are several technologies that initiate phase-wise sequences to generate high-quality results. The journey of using these technologies begins way before entering prompts that define the kind of results you are expecting. Let’s break down these technologies and their use cases so you know what I am talking about.

  • Big data: AI logo generators are powered by using a massive amount of graphical data. This data is collected from various sources including the internet, books, artists, social media accounts, and real people. Using big data, trainers train AI so it can learn patterns and predict all possible outcomes that can be made by combining millions of art pieces uploaded to the database. The fact about AI is the more data it is fed on, the smarter it gets and the more detailed its outputs look. As per the creators of Midjourney, the famous AI-image generator, a hundred million artworks were fed to the AI. Currently, Midjourney sets a standard for AI image generators thanks to its capabilities of generating detailed artificial images.
  • Machine learning (ML): AI has an integral part of its overall ecosystem called Machine Learning. The technology uses a massive amount of data and finds patterns in this data. Using pattern recognition and predictive analytics, machine learning teaches AI what kind of outcomes can be generated from what kind of data. AI engineers and data scientists teach ML systems using a massive amount of training data. This data is categorized and labeled so ML algorithms can recognize what to respond and when to respond. These functionalities, when brought together, help an overall AI ecosystem produce results by observing the prompt that has been shared by the user. You can use the further image as a reference. Upon instructing to create a logo for “Writer”, Microsoft Bing’s Image Creator generated four variants of outcomes that indirectly refer to the term. 

Advantages of AI-generated logos

The digital industry is super competitive so it has become increasingly important to pace up the speed of generating all kinds of content that goes into establishing the brand image. For the same reason, when AI-generated images became a thing, brand owners and marketers started looking for these options to upscale their logos game. Let’s break down some of the benefits of AI-generated logos for more insights!

  • Faster results: The lighting speed of generating results is the basic reason why AI logo generators are getting popular. Brand owners and marketers have the freedom to generate as many results as they want until they find the one they are actually satisfied with to upscale their business presence. 
  • Multiple variants: AI generates images but in multiple variants. This helps in exploring the perspective that was not existing earlier. Variants can sometimes generate results that are better in terms of creativity and brand optimization. Or, rendering multiple variants can widen up the logo ideation part. In short, whatever the requirement of a logo is, AI logo generators can be a great choice for a diverse range of options.
  • Cost efficiency: Most AI image generators like Microsoft Bing, Canva AI, etc are free. But even with paid AIs like Midjourney, you are making the best investment as these image generators provide cheap subscription costs and you get to pay way lesser than what you would pay to human designers as salaries to generate results. If you are a marketing agency, AI-based image generation tools can even help you fulfill client demands with much lesser investments.
  • Creativity unleashed: AI-generators are fed with millions of artworks so by using the right combinations of prompts, you have the freedom to get as creative as you can. You can try different prompts, explore different options, and can even generate hundreds of variants of a logo if you want. 
  • Several artwork styles: Almost all AI-logo generators give you the option to customize the kind of theme you want. You can pick watercolors, filmy, pastel colors, 3D, 2D, ultra-realism, and more such styles to apply to your logos so you have the kind of results that you imagined. Trying several different art styles is also a good idea if you are interested in exploring your options.

Disadvantages of AI-based logos

Let’s be honest here, AI is not perfect. And it is possible that your prompt, no matter how well you define your requirements, won’t be enough to get exactly what you imagined. Let’s break down some disadvantages so you can understand better what I am saying.

  • Lack of originality– AI combines several artworks that have been fed to it instead of producing something new. It uses images as references and produces results accordingly. So, it is safe to say that AI can never produce artwork originally from the ground up. It’s a technology that gets inspired by existing artworks and has no sense of imagination.
  • Lack of imagination: The world of AI is quite restricted. It is based on patterns and rules that have been existing in the industry of graphic design for quite some time. The only thing AI does differently is going through millions of such patterns and produce the artwork. As mentioned earlier above, there is no originality, nor imagination.
  • Lack of emotions: AI is not smart enough to understand or relate with sentient emotions. It lacks the feeling of understanding the deep meaning hidden in artworks, the mindset of the artist, their inspirations, or what emotions they were feeling when they drew something. So whenever you ask AI to generate a logo, you get creative results but all of these results are not designed considering human emotions. 
  • Extreme dependency on trends: Now with too many artworks and information in its database, AI generates results that are trendy. It will try to produce artworks that are suitable for the current industry scenario while incorporating your instructions.
  • Ethical challenges: While AI logos are a shortcut, there are ethical complications affiliated with using them. The main concern that critiques of AI has is data privacy and the rightful usage of others’ artworks. AI takes inspiration from others’ data but these artists who are producing artworks that train the AI are receiving rewards in exchange or not remains a fact in the gray area.
  • Perception of the people: There is massive resistance against AI-based generative tools in the world currently. People think AI will replace jobs, steal people’s hard work, and leave them with no means to make money or survive. Due to the same, there have been campaigns against brands that are planning to use AI generative tools. So, affiliating your brand can be a good shortcut but it is necessary to check first if your target market will be comfortable with this or not.

So, to get a clearer insight, I tested one of the most popular AI image generators existing today- Microsoft Bing AI Image Generator. Here are a few prompts I used to generate sample results.

  • Prompt 1: “Generate a logo for Starbucks but change the color theme and keep it aesthetic

AI quickly generated four variants of the existing logo of Starbucks. It understood instructions but again, depending on the AI I am using or how restrictive the prompt gets, AI will change its quality of results. Let’s try making the prompt more restricted!

  • Prompt 2: “Starbucks logo but with red, white, and yellow color

Defining the colors that I want in my results clearly has helped the AI understand what I want better. And as I had not clarified where I want what color, AI was also capable of judging the color placement depending on where it would suit the most. Now let’s get trickier and try to generate one more result to understand whether if I get more restrictive with prompts, the AI will understand them or not.

  • Prompt 3:Starbucks logo, red background, white Starbucks icon

Even though the prompt was more restrictive, Microsoft’s Bing AI perfectly understood my requirements and generated a result I was looking forward to. So you see, these capabilities of the tool are driving its popularity in a market where the competition between digital products is super high.

Wrapping up

Many large and small brands are taking interest in building and launching their AI logo generator apps so they can be a part of the race too. And with time, as people get more comfortable with AI and its advantages, these tools are going to rise in numbers further which will eventually motivate the race of offering the best quality of results. At the moment, in terms of quality, a few names like Midjourney and DallE are considered to be top contenders. 

Many artists on social media platforms and in even the entertainment industry have started using these tools and their alternatives. For instance, the popular Marvel series released on Disney Plus called Secret Invasion used generative AI to generate visuals for the credits of the show. The studio hired a company that assisted them with their requirements. However, after showrunners revealed this fact, it attracted some backlash from fans around the world. 

But the truth can be seen in a report by MarketsandMarkets which says that between 2023 to 2028, the generative AI market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 35.6% making the industry worth $51.8 billion globally. So, it is clear that the future is going to be more competitive and more brands will find ways to align themselves with the opportunities of AIs. Now it’s on you whether you are planning to do the same or not.

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